Freeloaders ignoring 'honor pay system' at Utah state park

Freeloaders ignoring 'honor pay system' at Utah state park (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) - A popular southern Utah attraction, Snow Canyon State Park, is dealing with more visitors and in order to adjust, park officials have mentioned hiring more personnel.

They also want to do more work on the trails but they can’t right now. So, why?

It's all over a $6.00 entrance fee which visitors pay on the honor system.

Jordan Perez, Assistant Park Manager at Snow Canyon State Park tells 2News more and more visitors have been directed towards the north gate due to directions on apps like Google Maps.

“We actually tried to contact Google at least three different times with written and phone messaging to their maps systems to try to talk to people to re-direct people down to the southern entrance to the park,” Perez said.

Up until now, Perez said the lack of a park ranger presence may have to do with the large number of people sneaking through the north gate without paying.

“Up until this time the visitation was not high enough to merit having somebody there full time,” Perez said.

The second possibility is the amount of or quality of visual aids the north entrance.

“We think that it may be problems with the signage,” Perez said and these officials have calculated that 30% of the cars in the parking areas don’t have a pass and didn’t pay for the day.

The third possibility, according to Perez, is that some visitors from out of state or out of the region are following what other “annual pass” holders are doing.

“We do have a higher use of state park annual passes, so we get a lot of people who come in with annual passes we also have people with commuter passes,” Perez said, “So if folks come in from out of town and they see another car in front of them drive in without paying or stopping they may not know that person had an annual pass.”

Perez said that he and his colleges are looking very closely at the issues and ways they can fix them.

“We're looking to increase staffing and to have more public awareness out there,” Perez said.

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